Ham Pinwheels Recipe: Not Just an Appetizer!

This easy, low carb ham pinwheels recipe is popular  as an appetizer or snack but also makes a great lunch! Deli sliced ham is rolled up with cream cheese, garlic, and pecans then sliced to create ham and cheese pinwheels. Pile them on a plate for game day, pass them around at your next party, add to a salad, or keep them in the refrigerator as a yummy, low carb snack.

For this recipe you’ll need: thin sliced deli ham, cream cheese, garlic, pecans, ingredients as needed for variations

A rough wood platter full of low carb ham pinwheels placed on a chippy white wood surface

Oh y’all.

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This recipe is so easy that I am almost embarrassed to post it. Almost.

While I don’t go full on carbaholic during the holidays I do eat more carbs than usual. When January rolls around and I’m ready to get back on track my body isn’t and communicates its displeasure by creating cravings for things that I would never consider eating normally.

I mean, things like spaghetti and garlic bread sandwiches, Oreos dipped in hot fudge sauce, and pancakes with bananas, graham crackers, and marshmallow fluff… you get the idea. Those first few days of being back on track are almost impossible because of the cravings.

The only way to really get through it is to bite the bullet (no carbs in bullets) and have something that is “snacky” and very low in carbs. Something I can pile in a bowl next to my computer and eat mindlessly. These are perfect for that kind of unfettered snacking.

My best friend comes over several Saturdays a month and usually brings wine and cheese. Sometimes she brings these ham pinwheels, too. She learned to make them in Home Ec (remember Home Ec?  Do they even have that anymore?) and introduced them to me.

There are thousands (and I mean thousands) of variations on this recipe so I’ve included a few of my favorites. What I like to do is make several kinds and then just keep them in a covered container in the fridge. I can have a nice variety that way.

closeup of low carb ham pinwheels on a rough wood platter

Ham Pinwheels Recipe Variations

There are so many different possibilities that you can  have different ones all the time. Be careful of your deli meats, some have hidden carbs and sometimes some of the ingredients can stall you. Pay attention to your body!

I like to have the meat sliced on a 1.5 for this. A 1 is usually to small and a 2 is usually to thick but be aware that stores are different. A “1” at one of the stores in my area results in shreds of meat while at another store it’s just right. You’ll need to try different things.

Some people mix mayo into the cream cheese because it makes it softer for spreading. I just like to warm the cream cheese up a little in the microwave until it’s soft enough I can stir stuff in. Then I chill it until it’s not too think but still soft enough to spread. Then I chill the ham and cheese pinwheels before serving.

  • Smoked turkey, cream cheese, pecans, unsweetened cranberries
  • Smoked turkey, cream cheese, bleu cheese
  • Ham, cream cheese, green onion
  • Turkey, cream cheese, chopped dill
  • Turkey and Pecan Olive Spread
  • Smoked turkey, chipotle in adobo, sour cream, and Cheddar
  • Roast beef, cream cheese, horseradish
  • Ham, cream cheese, chopped dill pickles
  • Turkey, cream cheese, onion, Bell pepper, celery
  • Turkey, Ranch dressing, cream cheese, green onion, cucumber
  • Ham, cream cheese, chopped pepperoni, Mozzarella shreds, sun dried tomato (use the tomato sparingly)
  • Ham and low carb pimento cheese

So basically, anything you can think of that’s low carb AND can be stirred into cream cheese will work.

Low carb ham pinwheels on a rough wood platter with a dark background

Serving Ideas for Ham and Cheese Rollups

Once you’ve got them made and chilled you don’t really need to do anything else – they’re ready to eat. Saying that, I have to admit that I’ve always been on to gild the lily, so to speak. Here are some ways to serve them –

  • Slice cucumber into rounds and place one ham pinwheel on to of it
  • Slice dill pickle and do the same thing as above
  • Serve on top of low carb crackers
  • Add to your favorite salad

You May Also Need…

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Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve lived most of my life in the South but I can’t pass up a cute serving dish. I love to pile appetizers like these ham pinwheels, some celery, some cheese cubes, and some olives on the serving dish and let guests have at it.

Low Carb Ham Pinwheels Recipe

Here’s the basic recipe. Once you get the hang of it (and that won’t take but a minute) try some of the variations above. If you like this recipe please give it  5 stars!

a platter of low carb ham pinwheels filled with cream cheese -recipe image
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Low Carb Ham Pinwheels

Low carb ham pinwheels recipe is so easy! Stir some garlic and pecans into softened cream cheese and spread on thinly sliced ham. Roll up and slice - you've created a yummy, very low carb snack.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Low Carb Basics
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 256kcal
Author Marye

Ingredients

  • 1 pound deli ham , sliced on a 1.5 thickness (very thin)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , warmed until very soft
  • 1/4 cup pecans , toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Instructions

  • Mix cream cheese, pecans, and garlic until well blended and spreadable.
  • Lay a slice of deli-sliced ham  on a plate and spread with a layer of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Roll up tightly.
  • Repeat with remaining slices of ham.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Slice crossways into rounds.
  • Serve as desired.

Notes

This recipe is for 8 servings. The number of pinwheels per serving will vary with how much cream cheese you spread on the meat AND how thinly the meat is sliced. The easiest way to figure it is to make them and then divide the total amount by 8 to find out how many pinwheels are in a serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 764mg | Potassium: 213mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7.6% | Calcium: 3.4% | Iron: 3.8%

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Last Updated 02/08/2019

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